A SleepTracks customer was worrying recently. Here’s what she wrote:
I was wondering if you could help with this ? I was trying to look up the runner you talk about in your program that only has to sleep 4 hours a night. I came across an Olympian that had insomnia self perpetuated since childhood. She ran miles and still her mind would not let her sleep. She had to finally go to the Mayo clinic and have a sleep coach work with her to get normal sleep. I was doing well letting go of my sleep anxiety until I read that it went on for years for her [the runner she read the story about].
Mine is going in that direction. Your program is great and I thought so much more positively until I read that. Can you give me some words of encouragement so I don’t go down that negative thinking again ?? I like what you said that nobody has insomnia. However it scared me when I read what I read…. I’m tired and just want to let go…
Ah, yes, anxiety around sleep. Fear of not sleeping. Fear that it will go from bad to worse. I would say that at least 9 out of 10 of the people I interact with on SleepTracks suffer from this.
I would even rate it as the #1 reason why sleep keeps eluding people who try to find it.
(Sleep is like happiness, or inspiration — you can’t chase it directly.)
Here’s my answer to that lady:
Each person is different, so comparing yourself to someone else will not be very helpful — especially if it makes you more fearful. The more fear you entertain around sleep, the harder sleep will be. And that is the real enemy.
The fact that some person needed years to get out of her rut DOES NOT mean the same thing will happen to you — it just means that for THIS person the journey took that long. Within her own personal circumstances, and her own attitudes/beliefs around sleep, and the tools/approaches she used along the way… It took her that long. You don’t have to travel the same way…
Your only job in this regard (with sleep, and with most things in life) is to learn to let go. Then sleep will happen on its own. Your body is already powerful and self-healing, and perfectly capable of getting the rest it needs when it needs it… If you just step out of the way.
The audio sessions are merely crutches to help you get out of your own way. Use them as long as you need them, then do without them when you don’t.
Release the fears. And stop caring so much (another way of saying “let go”) — which is what happens naturally when you get sleepy, did you notice? You suddenly have trouble focusing on things that still interested you ten minutes ago…
Starting today, you can resign from the lousy job of “trying to sleep and worrying about sleep”. It never was a useful job to start with. And the boss is a control freak you’ll be better off living without 🙂
Today I’d like to add:
People who have been struggling with their sleep for a long time (and sometimes even if they’ve had this problem for just a few weeks) progressively start to believe that the “sleep mechanism” is somewhat broken within them.
That they lost the ability to sleep, probably for good, and that they now have to learn to “cope with it”.
To that I must say very firmly:
No. It ain’t so.
You are not broken.
Your body’s ability to sleep cannot be “broken”. Believing those who say so will only make your more fearful, more tensed… And less able to just let sleep happen.
If you’re still struggling with this at any level, do something. Get on the program. Or if you want personalized assistance, get one-on-one consultations — I’m now offering a six-week, one-on-one, Sleep and Energy coaching program for those who are ready to dramatically ratchet up their vitality levels. It’s not cheap, but it’s so worth it. Contact me if you’d like to get on board (limited to my current availability).
Whatever you do, stop giving your power away by feeding the fear. Learn to address it. Living within fear’s confines is unnecessarily painful.
image: yell saccani